Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Laird increases power and range on Bluetooth module

Steve Rogerson
August 1, 2019

Ohio-based wireless technology company Laird Connectivity has announced the BL654 PA power-amplified Bluetooth module to increase power and range performance.
Building on the BL654 series, the BL654 PA provides OEMs with more design flexibility and performance. It is a complete multi-protocol embedded wireless offering with processing capability and extended support for long-range applications or difficult RF environments.
Powered by Nordic nRF52840 silicon, the small form factor modules and development kits provide a secure, robust Bluetooth LE and Cortex-M4F CPU for OEM product design. The module provides development flexibility with programming options for a simple, intuitive AT command set, as well as Laird Connectivity's own SmartBasic environment.
SmartBasic is an event-driven programming language that makes integration easier for designers, especially those who may be new to Bluetooth wireless technology. The programming language offers built-in functions that replace hundreds of lines of C code and allows designers to leverage Laird's years of Bluetooth expertise. It also acts as a bridge between software and hardware, allowing an application to work on any SmartBasic radio.
The module brings out all the nRF52840 hardware features and capabilities including USB access and up to 5.5V supply considerations, and builds additional TX power capabilities via an integrated Skyworks PA. In addition to the Bluetooth 5 features of enhanced data rates and LE long range, it also integrates BLE mesh capabilities in a high TX power platform, NFC and Thread 802.15.4.
"The BL654 PA series is unmatched in the industry, providing engineers with secure Bluetooth connectivity and extended range ideal for any industrial IoT application," said Jonathan Kaye, Laird Connectivity’s senior director of product management. "The BL654 PA was designed with our North American industrial customers in mind, enabling further progress to the IoT where the extended range on top of the capabilities of Bluetooth 5 are needed. The adapters and development kits enable OEMs to drive their entire product development from a single, integrated multi-wireless MCU core platform with multiple software development environments.”
The module also has robust security, industrial temperature rating, a small footprint, and modular FCC, IC, KC, RCM and Bluetooth SIG approvals, which extend to an OEM’s design with no new testing to speed the route to production.
Multiple low-cost development kits will be available to simplify application development and provide everything required for initial evaluation right out of the box.